Manziel laments hype, then poses for photos with Bieber, Mayweather
Is Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel really tired of the attention and hype that he complained about Friday during the NFL Rookie Symposium?
Or does he crave it?
Either way, he certainly fuels it.
On Tuesday morning, Manziel retweeted two photographs of himself posing with pop star Justin Bieber, boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, singer and actor Tyrese Gibson and rapper Tyga.
According to TMZ.com, Manziel partied with the crew Monday night at Bieber’s condo in Beverly Hills. Police were called to the party twice — once because of loud music, and again because packs of girls were screaming in front of Bieber’s home, according to TMZ.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported Friday on NFL Insiders that the Browns told Manziel to tone it down after he partied the previous five weekends — partly because the “money phone” video that went viral “did not sit well with” owner Jimmy Haslam.
But Manziel, the 22nd overall pick in this year’s draft who’ll compete with Brian Hoyer for the starting quarterback job this summer, answered “no” when asked Friday morning if the Browns had told him to chill out. He also made it clear that he would continue to live life to the fullest.
“I’m not going to change who I am for anybody,” Manziel said Friday. “I’m growing up and continuing to learn from my mistakes and trying not to make the same ones over and over again. But am I going to live in a shell or am I just going to hide from everybody and not do anything? I don’t think that’s the way I should live my life, and I’m not going to do it.
“I’m very committed to football. I’m committed to my job, but on the weekends, I’m going to enjoy my time off. I think we deserve it. We work hard here. We’ve worked hard since the draft. We worked hard to get drafted and put ourselves in a good position at the combine, even after that, working to stay in shape. So I am going to enjoy my time off. I’m very about football and very about my job, which doesn’t get reported or won’t get reported, but I am going to enjoy my time off. That’s, I think, what everybody else does, and that’s what I should do.”
Manziel lamented his status as a celebrity because wherever he goes, people “pull out their phones and all they want to do is follow me around and record everything, so my situation is unique and different and now more than ever. I’ve seen that it’s an every weekend thing wherever I’m at, whether it’s here in Cleveland on a weekend or in Dallas or anywhere on a weekend, people want to record what I’m doing because they think it’s a story.”
He also believes his teammates are fed up.
“They’re tired of the hype, which I am as well,” Manziel said. “So I’m sitting there seeing these things, and I’m tired of it as well. I want to wake up one week and not have my name going through something, and I’m working on getting better at that. But if I want to go home and spend time with my friends or go out and enjoy my weekends, I absolutely have the right to do that. We’re going to get a little bit of a break here (before training camp), and I’m going to still continue to work out and do the things I need to do and hopefully not let that come between me and my teammates.”
The first full-squad practice of training camp begins July 26. Manziel won’t have much time to hang out with his celebrity pals then.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie wide receiver Mike Evans, Manziel’s close friend and teammate at Texas A&M, believes that’s when the party will be put on hold for Johnny Football.
“In training camp, I don’t think he’ll go out at all,” Evans said last week during the symposium. “He’ll be committed and devoted and fighting for a starting job.”
Until then, no one should be surprised if the hype machine continues to roll.